Friday, February 1, 2013
The Virgin Queen (Virginia) - Elizabeth I 1569-72 Allegory Paintings Using Myths to Promote the Queen
Queen Elizabeth I was featured in at least 2 allegorical paintings using the lessons of classical mythology to promote the beauty & sovereignty of the young queen. These allegorical paintings were the public relations & propaganda tools of her early reign. The painting Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses (1569), attributed to Hans Eworth, is the story of the Judgement of Paris resulting in a projected peace rather than the long Trojan wars of the original tale. Elizabeth, rather than Paris, is sent to choose among Juno, Venus, and Pallas-Minerva, all of whom are outshone by the queen with her crown & royal orb.
The 1572 The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession is attributed to Lucas de Heere. In this image, Catholic Mary & her husband Philip II of Spain are accompanied by Mars the god of War on the left, while Protestant Elizabeth on the right ushers in the goddesses Peace and Plenty. The work may commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Blois (1572) which established an alliance between England & France against Spanish aggression in the Netherlands.